5 Spring Home Maintenance Jobs You Can DIY
By Brent Engle, the DIYGuy
You love owning your home, but you don’t love all the expenses that come with homeownership. The costs of maintenance and repairs add up, especially for routine jobs that must be done every year. This spring, spare your wallet by tackling these five home maintenance jobs yourself.
1. Clean the Gutters
You may have just cleaned your gutters in the fall, but by the time spring rolls around, it’s time to do it again. If gutters are clogged and can’t drain properly, water from spring rains could spill over and accumulate around the foundation, causing costly damage. It could also lead to the gutters detaching from your house, which is a much more labor-intensive repair than a simple gutter cleaning.
All you need to clean your gutters is a stable ladder, rubber gloves, and a tarp. Manually remove leaf litter, twigs, and other debris from the gutters, tossing it onto the tarp below for easy cleanup. Once the gutters are cleaned out, flush them with water to ensure there are no hidden clogs. As long as the downspout runs freely, you’re good to go.
2. Inspect the Roof
Regular roof inspections help you catch little problems before they become big, expensive problems. You can either inspect your roof by getting onto it or from the ground using a pair of binoculars. If you choose to get onto your roof, it’s essential to wear a safety harness. Slipping and falling without a harness could be fatal. American Building and Roofing offers additional tips for safely working on a roof.
As you inspect your roof, look for curled, cracked, or missing shingles, rusted flashing, and black stains. If the only problem is a few shingles in need of repair, you can do it yourself. However, rusted flashing or roof leaks require the services of professional roofers.
3. Trim Trees and Plants
It’s easier to spot dead or overgrown branches before trees fill out with leaves, so aim to tackle this job in the early spring. Remove dead branches from trees, prune and shape ornamental trees and shrubs, and prune perennial plants to keep your garden looking great.
If there are large tree branches overhanging your house or power lines, don’t cut them down yourself. The money you save through DIY tree trimming is less than the money you’ll spend fixing damage if a branch comes crashing down. Instead, hire a tree-trimming service to handle branches that are precariously placed or too high to reach.
4. Inspect the Deck
Get ready for warm weather by giving your deck some TLC this spring. If your deck could use a fresh stain, start by power-washing it to remove discoloration. Then, you can strip and stain your deck following this guide from Sherwin-Williams.
Before you start staining, make sure there aren’t any loose or splintered deck boards. If a board is slightly loose, you can tap it back in with a hammer. However, if a board is severely warped or splintered, it’s best to remove and replace it.
5. Clean the Air Conditioning Unit and Filters
If vegetation collects in and around your exterior air conditioning unit, it could affect its efficiency. A simple spring cleaning can help your air conditioner work properly throughout the warm season. Before you start working around the exterior air conditioning unit, turn off the power to the unit. Otherwise you could get injured by moving parts. Start by removing vegetation from around the unit before unscrewing the grill and cleaning debris out of the unit’s interior.
Also, check the filter to see if it needs cleaning or replacing because once spring rolls around, so will airborne allergens. The same can be said for your air purifiers—keep the air in your home clean every season by regularly replacing the filters. You can make the process easier by signing up for a subscription, so that you’ll never forget to replace the filters, and you can buy as many as you need.
DIY projects are a great way to save money on home maintenance, but they’re not without risks. Before you climb on a ladder or power up the chainsaw, make sure you understand basic DIY safety and have a first aid kit on hand just in case. After all, there’s no point saving a few dollars on home repairs if you only end up hurt.
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